|Developer: Black Pearl Software|
|Planned release date: 1994|
|System(s): Sega Mega Drive, Sega Mega-CD|
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Akira is one of the more notable video game absentees of the early 1990s, as when THQ acquired the license, it sought to publish numerous versions for a wide variety of consoles, all of which were cancelled (an Amiga (and Amiga CD32) version was released by a different publisher in 1995, and the Japanese Famicom received a tie-in back in 1988). Though a cross-platform strategy was put in place during the early days, the Game Gear version became an entirely different project, as did a Super NES version. A Game Boy game was announced but is thought to have been scrapped very quickly, leaving this version for the Sega Mega Drive and an assumed port to the Sega Mega-CD.
Akira on the Mega Drive combined numerous different video game genres, from 2D platforming, beat-'em-up segments, Road Rash-style motorcycle battles, isometric shooting and even stages played from a first person perspective, as well as containing numerous cutscenes inspired by film on LaserDisc. The Mega Drive version saw the most coverage by the gaming press, having been demonstrated in a noticably unfinished form at Summer CES 1994. It is not thought the Mega-CD version was ever shown, however numerous publications of the era confused the Mega Drive and Mega-CD versions, possibly suggesting journalists had been briefed the two were very similar.
Most Akira projects were hampered by internal problems at THQ, including disagreements in project management (and in some cases, a lack of understanding of target video game platforms), resignationations of key developers and a higher priority given to other titles. The differing projects were not closely co-ordinated, and were handled by separate teams under the management of THQ.